Graduation fees keep us paying

As students, we’re forced to pay for a lot of things.

Beginning with tuition, we pay a few thousand dollars every quarter just to attend and many thousands more as commencement draws near. Most of us leave school with five-figure debts, wondering how we’ll pay it back after the grace period ends.

Four years later and we’ve paid for hundreds, if not thousands, of breakfasts, lunches and dinners. We bought everything the PUB market had to offer. We splurged on school supplies from the bookstore and we even paid for parking. The last thing we want to do is pay for anything ever again.

However, we learned a lot in four years. It took a miracle to get to this point: all-nighters, cram-a-thons, caffeine and group projects. We leave the campus ready to fulfill our destinies, whatever they may be. But before we leave, we have to pay for one more thing.

Our own graduation.

After four long years, one would think that all the money we spent would afford us one thing: a graduation free from hidden fees and fine print figures. But if you’re a senior, then you already know about the cost to apply for graduation.

There’s more, however.

First off, the fee for the undergraduate graduation application is $37.17. And, according to Eastern’s graduation webpage, “if you do not graduate the quarter you applied for, a reapplication fee of $20.68 will be charged.” If you’re late, there’s a fee for that: $137.

Then there’s the master’s diploma fee, $37.05. If you’ve lost your diploma, the replacement fee is $22.29. Each additional diploma is another $22.29.
According to Eastern’s website, “undergraduates need a cap, gown and black tassel.”

The EWU Bookstore offers these items for purchase. Gowns are $14.45, caps are $6.45, honor cords are $8.50 and the graduation tassel $3.95.

For graduates, the master hood is $22.45 and the master gown is $18.45.

A stole of gratitude can be yours for another $14.95.

Is a free, or even an inexpensive, graduation too much to ask for? After years of fees and rising tuition, we should be handed our graduation for next to nothing, because, after all, we paid for it.

With so many fees seemingly coming out of the walls, it’s difficult to see how many are hidden. We do know, however, that after all is said and done, graduation is a business, and business is booming these days.

Through the Eagle’s Eye

How do you feel about the cost of graduation?

“Graduation should be something that everyone gets the offer to do, to walk it with cap and gown. It’s something that they shouldn’t have to pay for too much.”
Shelby Pelon

“I feel like that since they’re graduating and paid tuition with all these other costs, it would be nice to offer stuff cheaper. We’ve already paid so much for four or five years.”
Justin Filla

“What I know is that when the students came and talked about it, they said that we only pay $37 for a graduation fee. … I have to pay twice because I’m a double major.”
Alyaa Malibari

“I hate it. I can’t afford it as it is. That’s one of the reasons why I’m [running in the election]. I got fed up with it and I have to do
something about it.”
Corey Metzner

“Like any student, I’m on student loans and the cost of graduation really is high and should go down. I feel like students have worked really hard the last three years to graduate and to have to pay all these fees is really unfair.”
Marina Chibidakis


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